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Trump casts resisting impeachment as ‘one of the greatest things I’ve done for our country’

President Donald Trump on Wednesday described his resistance to Democratic lawmakers’ efforts to remove him from office and his vilification of allegedly rogue federal law enforcement officers as “one of the greatest things” he has accomplished since his election.

The remarks from the president came at the conclusion of his brief trip this week to Davos, Switzerland, where he huddled with international business executives and foreign leaders at the World Economic Forum’s annual summit. Trump’s overseas meetings in the Swiss Alps made for a dramatic split-screen with Capitol Hill, where the Senate commenced its impeachment trial to consider removing him from office.

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During a news conference in Davos before returning to Washington, a reporter asked Trump whether he would consider delaying his State of the Union address to Congress next month in light of the Senate proceedings. The president said he would not, but quickly turned uncharacteristically reflective, proceeding to recount a recent conversation he had shared with Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward.

“He said, ‘You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?’ I said, ‘No, I’m not enjoying it.’ He said, ‘No, you act like you’re winning and you won. You’re actually enjoying it.’ I said, ‘I’m not enjoying it. I’m doing it because it’s very important what I’m doing,'” Trump told the assembled media, before criticizing former FBI officials including Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe and James Comey.

“I consider what I’ve done here with this whole witch-hunt from day one — with the insurance policy, with the horrible statements made between Strzok and Page and McCabe and Comey, who lied to Congress and did so many other bad things. He lied and he leaked,” Trump said. “When I finish, I think that this is going to go down as one of the greatest things I’ve done for our country. These are bad, corrupt people. These are bad people, and very bad for our country.”

The president also insisted Wednesday that he would prefer for his Senate trial to “go the long way,” and for several current and former senior administration officials to be called as witnesses. But testimony from individuals such as former national security adviser John Bolton, Trump claimed, could have dangerous consequences and imperil America’s safety.

Bolton “knows some of my thoughts” and “knows what I think about leaders,” Trump said, warning of the repercussions of his ex-aide divulging sensitive information on world affairs.

“When he knows my thoughts on certain people and other governments, and we’re talking about massive trade deals and war and peace and all these different things that we talk about, that’s really a very important national security problem,” Trump said.

The president added that when Bolton exited the administration in September, the two men “probably” did not part ways “on the best of terms,” and “you don’t like people testifying when they didn’t leave on good terms.”

Trump asserted that potential testimony by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Energy Secretary Rick Perry would raise similar national security issues, but said he would “love” for both Pompeo and Perry to serve as witnesses.

As for acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, another of Democrats’ highly sought-after witnesses, “he’s really expressed himself very well” during an interview on a Sunday news show, Trump said, and “there’s not much he can add.”

The president did suggest that he was still considering making an appearance of his own in the Senate chamber to oversee his trial.

“I’d love to go. Wouldn’t that be great? Wouldn’t that be beautiful?” Trump said, although it was unclear whether he was joking or not.

“I’d sort of love [to] sit right in the front row and stare at their corrupt faces. I’d love to do it,” he continued, cautioning a reporter: “Don’t keep talking because I may — you may convince me to do it.”

Asked whether his Senate defense team, White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow, would want him in attendance, the president replied: “I think they might have a problem. I think they might.”


Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

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